I'm finding at the moment that I'm becoming interested in the interaction between popular faith and religious centres in the Middle Ages, but I have also noticed that something of a split seems to exist in the historiography. With the possible exception of Arnold's Belief and Unbelief in Medieval Europe (which admittedly might have done the whole thing so thoroughly that others don't dare) people seem to either do 'popular' faith in the period, or institutional history, without the two necessarily connecting.
That intrigues me, because it seems that there are potential difficulties if it is the case, and I haven't just missed the relevant literature. Doesn't it risk ignoring the role of extensive official religious mechanisms in influencing popular faith on the one hand, while treating the institutions in too secular a fashion on the other?
The interactions between large institutions and the towns and people around them can be fascinating, not least because of the ways they altered and shifted. In Beverley, the minster had to compete with the growth of numerous smaller institutions, and with the expansion of monastic houses there that occasionally strayed into liturgical areas, as its 1309 dispute with the Dominican Friars there over them offering Mass suggests.
What I'm saying is that these interactions are interesting, and that they're easy to miss sometimes. Particularly if we get so caught up in the popular religion of the Middle Ages that we ignore the formal sort. Well, actually, what I'm saying is that I've found a new angle to run with for a bit now that I've done the institutional history, but you get the idea.